Monday 30 November 2015

Speedy Recovery

My son-in-law is in the hospital tonight and I am informed that he is doing as well as can be expected after having back surgery. His back has caused him no end of pain over the past number of years and all parties concerned decided that they would do something about the problem.

We live in a wonderful time for the human race where they can replace faulty parts of the body and repair parts that need to be repaired. We haven’t gotten to the point where the repair is as good as or better than the original equipment, but that time is fast approaching. I am sure that Chris will feel much better in the future, just as long as he follows the doctor’s orders and doesn’t try to force his recovery. His wife is going to see to that, she wants her man to be 100% for as long as is possible.

I have friends that have new knees, hips, toe knuckles, teeth and in one or two cases, breasts. Okay, I don’t personally know anyone that has augmented breasts, but according to the tabloids there are quite a few walking around these days. I’m pretty sure that Chris will just get back stuff and avoid the front stuff. He was pretty dopey today, but I imagine that tomorrow he will be feeling much better. We hope.

So far, I don’t need any new parts…touch wood. There was a time when I thought my feet had been crippled, but that was plantar fasciitis and seems to have disappeared for the time being. My feet aren’t 100%. But after a lifetime of walking on concrete, I did expect some problems to crop up. I don’t think they can do much to fix me, but who knows what will be possible in the years before I die?

Well, I wish Chris a speedy recovery and with any luck this will just be a story to tell in a few months.

Saturday 28 November 2015

Shorts and a Tee Shirt

I guess I should be worried about global climate change. I’m not, but I should be.

The way I see it, I will long be dead before it has any impact on my life at all. Yes, there are things that we should be doing now and many things that should have been done in the past. Mankind was far too busy making money and chasing after a perfect life to worry what chopping all of those trees down would mean.

My kids and grandkids and their kids and grandkids will be the ones who suffer. With any luck some genius will be born and he/she will find a solution to the problems plaguing the planet. More than likely there will be no real change until we are forced to change. I don’t mean by the governments, they are far too concerned with getting re-elected to do anything that might offend any small segment of the population. No, we will run out of fossil fuels or they will become so expensive that it will pay to develop “free” energy sources.

I guess that there is the possibility that the generation of humans now on the planet will be the last generation. The baby boomers have been living with the threat of extinction for our whole lives and most of us just don’t care. Well, we care, but not enough to take the bus or stop watering our lawns. We don’t turn the heat down in the winter and we for sure won’t do without air conditioning on those hot summer days. A good life with appliances that give us comfort is what we have worked so hard for. Well, those people over in Asia have been working very hard for us.

In the end, there is very little I can do about global climate change. Okay, there is very little I will do if it impacts my life of comfort. That is the solution of course. Make it so that it will be cheaper and easier for us to save the planet and we will line up for the opportunity. I would anyways…

Until then, I won’t complain about +8°C weather at the end of November in Calgary, I will just nudge the thermostat up a degree or two so I can walk around the house in shorts and a t-shirt.

Friday 27 November 2015

A Month Away

So, today is Black Friday. I have no idea where the name came from or when it all started. Probably the name indicates that retailers who participate will be in the black after today and everything from now until Christmas is just gravy.
 Image result for black friday
When I was a kid the big shopping day was Boxing Day which was the day after Christmas. Being a kid, I was more interested in the toys, cookies and candy that I was busy scarfing down the day after Christmas. The day after Christmas meant that I could go out and show my friends the toboggan, hockey stick, gun and holster or any one of the other things I got the day before. Christmas day was about family and eating too much. Boxing Day was the day that the moms (for the most part) would return the shirts, sweaters, or socks that were given that just didn’t fit. I suppose that the retailers figured that if people were going to be in the stores anyways, they would give them a reason to spend more money. Smart businessmen.

There was a time when real deals could be had, but that was also the time when all items had phenomenal price mark-ups, so they could afford to slash the price one day a year. Sometimes people would get TV’s for half price; clothing for at least that and everything else would be a deal as well. People would go out early in the morning and return exhausted but happy at the end of the shopping day with their arms loaded and their wallets empty.
I never took advantage of these sales, or at least I don’t remember ever going out on Boxing Day. Part of the reason was that I had spent what little money I had on gifts for Christmas. Family and girlfriends expect a gift wrapped and under a tree on the 25th, not a promise to get something “real” nice for them on Boxing Day. Also, I really don’t like crowds any time and I certainly don’t like being around pushy, crazed, shopping addicts. Yes, I could get a TV for $200 on Boxing Day but it was worth my paying an extra $300 in the New Year just to avoid the crowds.

I am not now and have never been a shopper, but to me the deals on Black Friday don’t seem that spectacular. I guess some are, but now those sales last for a week or more and instead of elbowing my way through the stores on Black Friday, I can saunter into nearly empty stores on Sunday. There is a little less of a selection, but that is a small price to pay for my sanity.

Besides, Boxing Day is just a month away.

Wednesday 25 November 2015

Send Positive Thoughts

I was going to write about how poor the city workers are when it comes to cleaning the snow off of the streets. I have done so before and without a doubt I will do so again, but not tonight. You can’t blame someone for being ignorant of the proper way to do something. They have never learned the right way to clear the snow from the streets and probably never will. That is something I will just have to live with.

My problem tonight, a first world problem for sure, is that I have everything that I need. I am happy. On sure I could ask Santa for more or better, but he has bigger fish to fry this year. He can concentrate on those people fleeing for their lives, or the ones who have lost a friend or family member because of senseless violence. They need to have a little joy injected into their lives. I hope it all works out for them.

I know I am not as nice a person as I could be, but I try not to hurt anyone. I am probably a bigot, but that is the way I was raised and I can’t always filter thought to mouth fast enough. There is no evil intended, but I suspect I will have some explaining to do when I arrive at the Pearly Gates or the paradise with all of the virgins. I hope the virgins are older and able to carry on a conversation, because the other thing would get pretty boring really fast. Did you ever wonder if the old man/terrorist heaven isn’t a hell for those young girls? I’m not a young girl, but I think I know what the answer is.

Anyways, have a good night/morning and send positive thoughts to the snow plow operators in Calgary, refugees everywhere and those young virgins.

Tuesday 24 November 2015

I Am Getting Better

Yesterday a friend and I were having coffee and during the discussion on how the world should be run, he mentioned that in the latest Lee Valley Christmas catalogue there is a little device that helps you bend wire into any shape that you need. He has need of bending some wire to repair a belt. He told me that it was pretty cheap and was thinking about picking one up. I told him not to bother because I have had one for many years now and he is more than welcome to borrow it. I didn’t mention that bending wire is easy, but bending wire into the exact shape you need is the next thing to impossible. He can discover that on his own.

I just had to find it. I was pretty sure it was in one of two places. Either it would be in my main toolbox where useless items that might be useful sometime live, or in the toolbox I have for crafty things, tools and other odd stuff. I should have known that it wouldn’t be in either box. I think I hung it on a hook on the wall in my workroom. I spent a good half hour looking at the wall wondering why I didn’t hang the wire bender there. It would have been so easy to find. Now I remember, I had it in the garage and it is in a container on the shelf above the workbench. Yes, it was really cold, but how long could it take to search one shelf? I searched the shelf and the workbench several times each to no avail.

Over the course of the evening I was in and out of the house about ten times and had no luck at all. I searched everywhere. I went to bed wondering if I had somehow tossed it in the garbage, but that just isn’t my style.

This morning I went down to the workroom and sat looking at the walls once again. Nothing had changed overnight, the wire bending thing was still MIA and I was at a loss as to how I could misplace such an important tool. I looked down at a cash box that we used at a craft sale a few years back that was covered in dust. Since it was literally the last thing that I hadn’t looked into, I dusted it off and opened it up.

Yes, you guessed it, the wire bending thing was in that dusty old box. Well, at least I now have something to loan out and my buddy won’t be able to laugh at me for not being able to find it.

What intrigues me is why I thought that the cash box would be a good place to keep it. I’m sure that at the time it made perfect sense to put it there and I would be able to find it quickly and easily if ever I should have wanted it. I haven’t changed that much over the years; you would think that what was logical to me back in the day would still be logical today. Last night I found myself saying “If I were me, where would I put the wire bending thing?” The answers were all wrong of course.

I accept that my memory is fading, but now it seems that what I consider logical now must be fading as well. Perhaps the reverse is true and my logic is improving with age. My ears are growing, why not the brain cells controlling logic? Yeah…that’s it. I am getting better.

Monday 23 November 2015

or the next day

Just want to check in and let you know that I am still here and still having trouble thinking clearly.

Tomorrow for sure...or the next day

Friday 20 November 2015

Tornado’s Tonsils

The other day we were talking to Arwen and she was telling us that the night before Tornado told her that his throat really hurt. After a long day at work and too long being an overworked mom, she told him that he’d be fine in the morning. Well, he wasn’t so they went to the doctor’s office and it turned out that his tonsils were bleeding. The doctor told her that he was contagious and gave her some medication that will more than likely make Tornado feel better. That is good.

Aside from the fact that she felt like the world’s worst mom, she bought him his weight in ice cream and prepared to look after him until he felt better. That is also good.

I remember back when I was his age and a similar thing happened to me. Well, I don’t know that the old tonsils were bleeding, but I did have a sore throat and our family doctor told mom and dad that the tonsils will have to come out. Back then, the doctor told them this while sitting on the edge of my bed. Yes, they made house calls back then. I don’t know how things have changed, but having a doctor come to your home just will not happen. I wonder how they managed to make a living back then. They were certainly well respected and the doctor’s word was gospel.

Anyways, I was shuttled off to the hospital and scheduled for a tonsillectomy right away. The surgeon that was to do the operation was very nice and made me feel just a little less worried. He told me that after the operation I would be able to have as much ice cream as I wanted. I wanted a lot of ice cream because my throat hurt so very much. I was wheeled into the operating room and put to sleep. I can remember the doctors and nurses in white, wearing masks, moving around putting things that I couldn’t see on trays. One guy told me that he would put me to sleep and when I woke up I wouldn’t have my sore tonsils any longer. All that I had to do was to count backwards from 100.


I woke up in a room and there was blood on my chest and my throat still hurt, but in a different way. A worse way if that could be possible. I was moved into a room with another little boy who was sleeping. The nurse asked if there was anything I wanted and I said “rrrr…rrr…crrr…” I didn’t say anything, I couldn’t talk. Mom and dad came in and sat with me, talking at me and keeping my mind occupied. Just about this time I realized that my throat hurt too much for me to eat ice cream and everyone lied to me. What bastards! Lying to a sick child! That was the low point of my young life.

They don’t do that operation as much any longer, I suppose there is a feeling that if it is in the body, there is probably a very good reason for it. I have made it throughout most of my life without it, but I have never been able to sing very well. I’m going to blame that lying doctor.

I have never forgotten having my tonsils out and since then and now I have eaten more than my share of ice cream. I hope that Tornado is feeling better and that he managed to scarf down his weight in frozen treats. 

Wednesday 18 November 2015

One Eye Open

For those that are regular readers, I must apologize.

I have been hit and miss with the blog lately because I have been leaving it too late each day. In my mind I just feel that it doesn't really matter whether I put one out every day. It doesn't of course but I still feel as if I am letting the three of you down somehow.

I suspect that I will get back to being more or less regular in the blog and elsewhere, eventually. 

There have been things happening in the world that are pretty fucked up and I am trying to make sense of them. I'm not having a lot of success and even if I did stumble on a solution for world peace, no one would be interested. Too many of us rely on the global war machine to put food on the table and to put a table on the floor. 

No one really cares. Well, no one that can do anything about it.

On that happy note...good night to all and sleep with one eye open.

Monday 16 November 2015

Keep It Warm

Here we are in mid November and to date, old man winter is just hanging around the mountains to the west of us. Even there it has been warmish for that part of the country. Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining.

On the weekend I figured that I had pushed my luck too far already and put the winter tires on the car. If I were a betting man I would have gambled that I wouldn’t need them at all this year. I have a feeling that this will be one of those unseasonably warm winters that only warrant light jackets and almost no need for boots at all. Of course this is based on nothing other than wishful thinking and an optimistic reading of the Farmer’s Almanac 2015/2016.

The weather for the past few years had been more seasonal than the ten years or so before I retired. I guess your view of the weather depends on how long a time you have to spend outside “experiencing” it.

I hope that we have a mild winter for my dog. If it is very cold, he doesn’t walk and if he doesn’t walk then I don’t walk. If I don’t walk, then I get lazy and won’t walk even when the weather is nice. When I don’t walk, I get fat and when I get fat it could cause physical problems for me. If I have a heart attack on one of the few days I take the dog for a walk and fall on poor Buster, it will more than likely kill him. If I am the reason my dog dies, I may fall into deep depression and eventually die of sadness and cholesterol related health issues.

So, if you don’t want to see me or my dog die, pray for a mild winter, they are directly related.

Saturday 14 November 2015

Angry Old Man

Do you know what it’s like to be an angry old man?

Probably not, I suspect that very few of the people reading this are old men. Of course little girls can be angry as can be young women and men, but for the most part they are justified in being angry. Well, they are justified in their own minds.

I have a friend or two on facebook and they seem to be angry at something or other all of the time. Sometimes it is when the government give a pay raise to some group they don’t feel deserves it. Sometimes the government won’t give a raise to some group they feel should have a raise. Sometimes (most times) they are angry because the group that my friend is a part of just doesn’t get their own way. Another friend gets upset about work or her family. Sometimes the neighbours don’t behave the way they should. Every time I read one of those posts I just shrug and think to myself. “That is just the way life is for 99% of the world.” Things just don’t always go the way you would like.

I get angry about the stupid stuff too. I get mad when someone is driving in front of me and is only going the speed limit. I suspect I would be happier if no one was in front of me at all no matter what speed they are driving. I get angry when the city road crews can’t figure out how to plough the snow off of the road, even though I don’t have to drive to work when it is really bad. I get mad when I find myself standing in the basement with no idea why I am there. I am more mad at myself I suppose than the magical imp that stole the thought right out of my mind.

I think anger is a part of the human condition. Yesterday some very angry people killed hundreds of innocents that live in Paris because not everyone agrees with their narrow view of the world. I don’t know what there problems are and what they are angry about, but I suspect that there would be a better way to deal with the problem. Maybe they should look at their problem from as many sides as their tiny minds can see. People die every day and rarely does that sway governments to change their policies. It has the opposite effect generally and I fear that this last terrorist attack will drive a wedge in that can not be removed. We will see I suppose.

The anger I mean when I say “angry old man” is of a different type. It is anger that has no reason what so ever. No one was driving in front of me, no one got a raise, no one went to work, and the neighbours are fine, nothing happened in Paris, the government is doing just fine and no one is pissing me off. Well, everyone is pissing me off, and everything. I am just angry with no particular reason. I feel like I am walking on the edge of a precipice and I know that I will fall sooner than later. I am watching this being that looks like me and I have no idea how I can stop him from being such an asshole.

I have had this happen often before and I am comforted that it will pass with hardly any lasting effects. Well, other than hurting those that shouldn’t be hurt.

Thursday 12 November 2015

Travellin’ Ken

I wrote this a while back before Louise and I drove out east. For some reason it never made it into the blog and I’m not going to wait until the next trip to post it. I have hopes that it will be at least a few months before I set out again. We will see though…

Like a fine wine, I don’t travel well. Okay, I don’t know if that is true about the wine, but it sure is about me.

I have no idea what my problem is, I suspect I suffer from a phobia that secretly wants me to stay in one place for the rest of my life. I kind of like the idea, but if I have a psychological defect then I would like the defect. My phobia has to be better than those whack-a-doodle adrenalin junkies who seem to be bent on their eventual destruction.

I saw on the news that young dare devils have taken to climbing construction cranes to get a rush. Some will even parachute from the very top. They are often caught, but seldom do they pay more than a fine and community service. The community service ought to have something to do with climbing to the top of electrical towers and doing whatever people do at the top of electrical towers. Make them work off that excess energy they seem to have.

I suppose there are adrenalin junkies who try to outrun trains for shits and giggles. Of course you don’t hear a lot about them other than when the six o’clock news reports a mysterious death on the train tracks just outside of town. There is a long history of these crazy buggers, I suspect that ten thousand years ago someone tried to swing on the tusks of a mammoth or throw rocks across the smallish canyon at a sabre tooth tiger. None of us are descended from them of course.

I guess I am just getting old and I like to have things remain the same. I like the same. I spent years trying to get to a point in my life where I could do what I wanted and if I wanted to do nothing, then so be it. Somehow, I married a woman who wants to do things. Hrrmmph!

Well, I will be known as Travellin’ Ken for the next few weeks. I will have my horizons broadened, meet some new people, meet some old people and see some things that I have never seen before and tell some tall tales. It will be fun and I will tell stories about my travels for months to come, sitting in my comfort zone, drinking coffee and solving the world’s problems.

Wednesday 11 November 2015

Nobody Likes a Saint

Okay. Its official, I am losing it.

I went out today and one of the things I went out for was milk. I arrived home with a hot dog, drink and no milk. It wouldn’t have been bad if I had noticed there was no milk sometime before the stores closed for the night, but I didn’t. 
Image result for powdered milk
A couple of weeks ago I ran out of milk and I figured I would replace it with powdered milk. My buddy raised his family on powdered milk, so I figured I could go one bowl of cereal. Nope! Now I understand what a cruel person my friend was. My dad was in prison camp during WWII and the Germans served black bread that was made with half flour and half sawdust. After tasting that powdered milk I kind of wish I could get the taste out of my mouth with some of that POW bread.
I often find myself in the middle of a sentence without a clue where it ends. “Hey, you know that police chase the other night?...uhh…any idea what I was going to say?”

Louise looks at me and says “Nope. What were you saying?”

“If knew that I would have said it.” Generally at this point I just toddle off muttering to myself and hopefully a day or two later I’ll shout “..they were chasing an unmarked cop car!!!!”

“Who was?”

“Who was what?”


“Forget it!”

That is the story I am living now. Tonight there was a news report about large numbers in white stone laid out on Signal Hill that signify the four battalions that trained there before going to fight in WWI. The numbers have been there since 1991 and I have no memory of them at all. I suppose that it could be that I am incredibly unobservant, but I find it hard to believe that even I could miss fifty foot letters on a hillside. I told Louise that I didn’t remember them at all and she brought up a photo on her computer to show me.
Image result for signal hill numbers
“I just saw the same picture on TV, and I don’t remember it.” She showed me the picture again. I guess it’s like finding out the person you are talking to is deaf, so you slow down the words and speak a little louder. They are still deaf! I am still losing it!

Oh well, if I were perfect no one would talk to me. Nobody likes a saint.

Tuesday 10 November 2015

I Didn’t Die

I am like most grandfathers, thinking that my grandchildren are the most beautiful, intelligent and unique creatures on the planet. I suppose that opinion may change when they get older and more obnoxious, but for now they are tiny, perfect people.

I think part of the reason is that grandchildren allow us to view the world through new eyes once again. They have no preconceived opinions about how things should be, only how things are. They let me see the possibilities. My possibilities are coming close to expiration, but theirs are waiting to be explored. They should go for it. If I can influence them at all I will encourage them to take the chances life puts in front of them. Well, as long as it is safe and their moms and dads think it is okay.

Last weekend we got to look after little Tsunami while her mom and dad became reacquainted with alcohol. We played on the floor, tossed food on the floor at suppertime, watched some very colourful, insipid cartoon shows and played peek-a-boo. It was magical. Tsunami spends her weekdays hanging out with children that have no interest in personal hygiene at all. Like Tsunami. They leak from every place that a human can leak from and it seems they freely share germs and disease. How nice!

This weekend Tsunami passed on some of those fluids to her grandparents. Sharing is a concept that she has already mastered. For the past couple of days both Louise and I have had our own leakages. It has been quite a while since I have felt this poorly and I know that Louise would have preferred if I were the only one to get sick. I won’t go into details, but for the past two days I have been either in bed or on the toilet. It has been less than magical. That is why no blog for the past two days and nearly no blog today.

I think we are on the road to recovery and I hope that Typhoid Tsunami is feeling better. Her mom and dad have been sick as well and her aunt Arwen cuddled her just a little too much it seems. Well, they say what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger. I didn’t die and I feel pretty weak still. I guess the “stronger” will come later. I hope.  

Saturday 7 November 2015

One Hundred Thousand

Somewhere between 6:00 and 7:00 this morning someone in the world viewed my blog. That page view happened to be the 100,000th. Thanks for reading it stranger.

I know that 100,000 isn’t a lot of views, but it is a milestone of sorts. I have written 1632 entries since March 23, 2011. I hoped when I started that I would keep at it for a longish period of time, but deep down I was pretty sure that if I made it every day for a month I would have been happy. Look at me, still happy.

I doubt if I will do this for another four and a half years, but you never know. It is more of a diary really. I don’t seem able to consistently write a diary on a daily basis, my life is just too boring. With the blog I can write about thoughts as well as deeds and that I find interesting. This will be a memory of me to those I love once I am no longer able to be foolish in person. I hope they get something from it.

Yea me!!!!

Have a good night and more than likely I will write another blog for your entertainment tomorrow.

Friday 6 November 2015

A Trifle Bushier

So, tomorrow is light putting up day in Calgary.

Anyone with a brain in their heads will take tomorrow and put up the Christmas lights; at least the lights that will take time to hang. Tomorrow is supposed to be in the 12° to 15°C and should be just perfect for fiddling with tangled strands of lights, knotted extension cords and those little plastic clips that become brittle when the temperature reaches below 0°.

I can remember delivering mail years ago and when the temperature would dip well below freezing in early December and just hover there. It was bad enough delivering the mail when the wind was blowing the snow around in that sub zero weather, but it kind of warmed my heart when I would see one of my customers hanging his lights. I would generally talk to these guys, pretending to sympathize with them when I was giggling like a teenage girl inside. In almost every case they opted to take it easy the last nice day weather wise. The wives made them hang the lights for the kids in the cold weather. Personally, I think it was more a wifely punishment for not listening when they should have.

I saw that too often to ever get caught myself. Yes, the odd time I have had to deal with cooler weather, but that is no longer a problem. About twenty or twenty-five years ago, I met another customer hanging his lights. He was just starting when I walked down the one side of the street and ten minutes later when I was coming back up the other side, he was done. I was amazed! He showed me his system and that day I went home and duplicated it on my home. He attached the lights to boards and then attached the boards to the eaves with hook and eye hardware. It takes a little planning the first year and you have to be satisfied with the same light set up year after year. I was and am.

Tomorrow in the morning I will put up my lights. Barring unforeseen interruptions, I should be done within a half an hour. I will test them once they are up just to make sure that all is well. In years past, before LED lights, that is the time I would make sure all of the bulbs were working and replace the burnt out ones. I can now plug all the lights into one outlet and the electricity consumption is far less than one or two strands of the old kind of bulbs. I have a remote to turn the lights on from inside the house and the grandkids love turning them on and off, on and off, on and off…

The inflatable Santa and his sled will just cool his heels in the garage until early December. That’s when I know Christmas is just around the corner.

Well, that, and my beard seems to get a little whiter and just a trifle bushier.

Thursday 5 November 2015

Dream Call

Sometimes I just hate dreams.

Take the one that woke me at 6:00 AM this morning for instance. I was in the process of cleaning the kitchen counter which had the usual dirty plates, butter dishes, crackers, half used tea bags and for some reason this morning, it was strewn with cut off bits of vegetables. I hadn’t gotten very far in my cleaning when the phone rang. I looked into the living room to see if Louise was going to answer it, but she was engrossed in whatever it was she was doing. Besides, it wasn’t the phone that was ringing; it was the big end of a carrot that was sitting on the counter. I picked it up and said “Hello?”

“Hi Ken, this is Jeanie P. I hate to bother you, but I wonder if I could ask you something.” The connection wasn’t very good, but I guess when you take into consideration that I was talking into a dirt covered vegetable, I didn’t have a lot to complain about. Jeanie sounded tired or sad and pretty faint. Of course this was the moment when the carrot stopped being a phone and once again became future compost. I didn’t have her phone number, and I wouldn’t have known how to dial a carrot anyways, but I was a little concerned.

Jeanie had almost never called us in the thirty some years we have know each other. Our kids are friends and through them we have met from time to time. Her and her husband are a fun couple and I have always liked time spent together. I can’t help but wonder what she wanted. Of course my mind immediately went to something horrible happened to her son or husband. I will have to creep on facebook to see if I can get any hints, like “So sorry for your loss.”, “If there is anything I can do for you.” That would give an indication if anything was amiss.

It could be something simple like wanting to leave their vehicle parked at our place while they went on vacation. That would be no problem and I could drop them off at the airport and pick them up when they returned. Their daughter lives in Calgary and I suppose it is possible she might need some help. She is quite capable, and has never needed help before, but I would help her if need be. Maybe they want me to pick something up for them at a store while the supplies last. I may never know why she called.

This is going to drive me crazy. It was important enough to wake me up and keep me up I might add. I wonder what is going on. If only Jeanie didn’t use a carrot to call me, it would have been better if she had used an apple product.

Wednesday 4 November 2015


I need to convince myself that I am doing well.

Every now and then I get into a funk and just want to sit around doing nothing. The solution of course is to start doing things, but when I have to force myself to do anything, I have a problem. I have felt this way for some time now but I think things are starting to turn around. Maybe that is the reason the blog has been hit and miss lately.

I am in the middle of a couple of projects and with the holiday season fast approaching there are numerous reasons to get my ass in gear. There are also a lot of Christmas movies that need to be watched. The weather is promising to be very nice on the weekend and at the risk of offending veterans, I plan on putting up the lights. We will see how it all plays out.

I need to plan the window painting for this year. I was thinking today that I might get a few options ready and ask Hurricane and Tornado what they think. Maybe they will come up with something wonderful. Maybe they will come up with something far beyond my capabilities. I guess I will see.

I am pretty much done for tonight, but since I am thinking about the holidays, I would like to share this recipe for home made Baileys. I like it and perhaps it is the reason that the Christmas window paintings are more often than not crooked. It is a small price to pay for chocolaty, alcoholic bliss.


1 - cup of light cream
1 - 14 oz can of eagle brand  ( I use 1 ½ of the smaller cans. I don’t think there are 14 oz cans in Canada.)
1 2/3 cups of Irish whiskey (I use Canadian Club)
1 tsp. Instant coffee
2 tbsp. chocolate syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. almond extract

Blend. Bottle and refrigerate. Shake before using.

Tuesday 3 November 2015

Except For You

On November 11th we honour the veterans who gave their lives and those that have served in the armed forces. That is as it should be. What is the saying…”Those that forget the past are doomed to repeat it.” No one wants to fight another war. Well, the previous government did, but I suspect that was because war is really good for the economy.

We have boxes on the counters of small businesses, the lottery booths, coffee shops and numerous other places where you can drop a quarter, loonie, toonie or a bill of any denomination that you see fit to give. The money goes to help vets in need of food or special assistance. The government doesn’t do enough to help them, so help falls to an organization of their peers and charity. That is the way of the world.

In the recent past few years there has been an alarming trend of people stealing those little cardboard boxes. I don’t know what kind of low life scumbag would feel that he is somehow entitled to those few coins meant for the vets. I guess it takes all kinds. I don’t know if that is the reason or if the counter in my local Tim Horton’s is too small for the box, but there just isn’t one this year. That is pretty sad too.

Louise and I made an online donation for Remembrance Day at . This way we can make the donation and no one can run off with the funds. Hopefully, the money will get where it is needed. I may still drop in a coin or two if I see one of the boxes, but if I don’t…

One other thing I want to talk about. I keep getting these well meaning facebook posts that urge me to not decorate for Christmas before November 13th, as it is somehow disrespectful to our veterans. What? How does one link to the other? I am pretty sure that up until I saw these posts I would never have put the two together at all. They are not mutually exclusive!

I live in a fairly cold climate and after mid October there are too few nice days that one can hang Christmas decorations without the risk of losing a finger or two to frostbite. If a nice day comes along, I am putting up those decorations. I won’t ask a veteran to help me, but if one volunteers then I will gladly accept the help. I’ll even buy him a coffee if he or she wants one.

I suspect that the people who post these messages are the same ones that are sick of the holiday music on the first day they hear it. They begrudge the whole season and in their small minded way they hope to slow Christmas down by a week or two. I have a suggestion for these people. If there is Christmas music in the stores, wear headphones! If you don’t like the idea of decorations before mid November, then don’t put any up. If you don’t like the holiday season, man up and don’t celebrate, you hypocrite! Mind your own business! If you don’t like to see my Christmas posts on facebook; un-friend me. I haven’t blocked you because I figure it takes all kinds of people to make this world spin and for the most part you aren’t a total asshole.

Well except for …you know who you are…asshole!

Monday 2 November 2015

Bridge of Decisions

The other day I noticed an email from a friend about a writing contest in Ontario. It is a monthly contest where an image is posted and invitations go out to authors to write a compelling story, poem or whatever in one hundred words or less. It is a nice idea designed to get the creative juices flowing in a direction that they might not normally flow. I don’t have any inclination to enter a writing contest, possibly because I am afraid that I wouldn’t be any good, but mainly because I think that writing is a solitary endeavour.

I am just not that competitive. Writing on a professional level is a very difficult field to work in and just trying to get anything published is next to impossible. That is why blogs are so popular with us wanabees. I can write any kind of drivel I want and you can choose to read or not to read. I don’t really care. It is nicer if you like what I have written, but the more important thing is if I like what I have written.

The picture for this month’s competition is of a figure in black, holding a red umbrella while standing on a bridge. The bridge is shrouded in clouds and seems to be supported on the heads of creatures made of rock. Well, that is what I saw in it. It is one of those pictures that you can lose yourself in. It isn’t clear if the figure is crossing the bridge, has stopped and turned to see something behind him or maybe the destination is the bridge. It has an Oriental feel to it. I have recently been informed that Oriental is no longer politically correct and I should say Asian or perhaps Pan-Asian. I’m not politically correct, so it has an Oriental feel to it, but that just might be the Occidental in me talking.

When I first saw the picture, I immediately thought of it as the Bridge of Decisions. Our lives are filled with thousands of decisions on a daily basis. Each decision that we make is another bridge that we have crossed. Unfortunately, the bridges are not well signed. We can walk back and forth on some of those bridges, but most of the crossings are one way only. Some lead to the future and others take you back to the past. Some lead to happiness and others to an unfulfilled life. Often when we get to the other side we look back through the fog and see the bridge that we could have taken.

Beware of looking into the fog.

Rite Of Passage